Umami Mart Barware


We had a fun, bustling opening last month for our friend Aya Brackett's photography show opening. Titled Home is Oakland, Home is Japan, 12 of Aya's photos are on exhibit on the back walls and nook of Umami Mart. Professionally, Aya’s food photography has been published in The New York TimesMonocle and Bon Appetit -- for this show, Aya has chosen select pieces that reflect domestic moments in California and Japan. Capturing kitchen scenes in Oakland, or at her grandmother’s and friend’s homes in Tokyo and Kyoto, Aya’s photos are at once intimate and playful.

For the reception, we invited Sylvan of Peko-Peko catering to come and cook up some of his famous hot udon with duck. He is Aya's brother, don't you know! Such a creative and talented duo.


Sylvan + Aya 


Guests patiently awaiting Peko-Peko's kamo (duck) udon


Hayato-san working the udon station


Piping hot bowls of house-made udon with leeks and roasted duck. Always delicious and comforting.


What a great crowd!


Miss Amy Marie Haven made an appearance


Thanks everyone for coming out!


Yoko, Aya + me

Aya wrote this statement about the show:
Home is California and I am an American girl: there is no doubt in my mind. But, I grew up in a traditional Japanese house in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a Japanese mother, an American father and frequent trips to Japan to visit my mother's family near Kyoto. Growing up, we ate Japanese food nearly every day, and as usually is the case, food became the most accessible entry into Japanese culture. The rhythms of preparing tand eating food in my life, in California and Japan, have created a sense of place and home in both.

Full of poignant, humorous domestic scenes, Aya's photos are warm and lively. We are so honored to host the show at Umami Mart -- it fits right in! Please visit soon, the show is up through Sunday April 28.

*Photos by Yoko Kumano